The EU’s Subnational Dimension

Type: Normative

Department: international relations and diplomacy




SemesterAmount of hoursLecturerGroup(s)
9Associate Professor Roman Kalytchak

Course description

“The EU’s Subnational Dimension”

Course outline

This course was supported in 2014-2017 by the Jean Monnet Action Program (Erasmus+) .



1. Region, Regionalism and Regionalisation: overview of concepts and approaches.   
Objective: Provide a conceptual and theoretical framework for dealing with the subnational level.
The concept of “region” will be clarified and discussed. The comprehensive typology of the regional phenomenon will be developed. The analysis, systematization and classification of approaches to the regionalism as a variety of different legal competences, political processes and policy outputs will be provided. The interaction between the regionalism and the globalization in the context of “think globally, act locally” will be explored.
Typology of federal, decentralized and unitary states will be clarified. The specific features of the decentralization will be identified. The regionalization as a process of decentralizing authority specifically to regional units at a subnational level will be examined. The lack of common EU model of regionalization will be addressed. Types and structures of regions in EU countries also will be studied.

2. Regions in the European Union.
Objective: Examine the development of the subnational level of governance in the ongoing process of European integration.
The central focus will be on the evolving relationships between regions and the EU as a complex system of multi-level governance. The ambiguous concept of “Europe of the regions” will be assessed. The changing position of European regions at national and supranational level will be discussed. The role of the EU as an opportunity for the development of the subnational level of governance will be highlighted.
Special attention will be paid how the European integration process could influence on the regionalization in European countries. The case of Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom will be explored.
The role of subnational authorities in EU decision-making process will be explored. Different mechanisms of their participation within the European Union and interactions with EU Institutions will be considered. The significance of the Committee of Regions and subnational representations in Brussels will be discussed.

3. EU Regional Policy.
Objective:  Familiarize with specific features of the EU regional policy and its implications for the development of the EU.
The historical development of the EU regional policy will be provided. Key goals, principals and instruments of EU regional policy will be examined. Implementation of structural and cohesion funds will be clarified. Its impact on the dynamics of European integration will be discussed.  The shortcomings of the EU regional policy will be assessed. The case of Italy will be explored.

4. Cross-border Cooperation
Objective: Provide a comprehensive understanding of the salient issues of the cross-border cooperation.
The changing significance of borders in Europe will be discussed. The conceptual framework for dealing with the cross-border cooperation will be given. The legal aspects of interregional cooperation in Europe will be examined. The EU’s main instruments to foster cross-border initiatives will be explored. The stress will be placed on main obstacles to the more efficient and dynamic cross-border cooperation.


5. Historical Perspective of Regional Construction in Central and Eastern Europe
Objective: Provide a holistic view on the development of subnational dimension in CEE.
Background information regarding the evolution of the territorial structures of CEE countries will be given. Particular emphasis will be put on the communist legacy in the organization of sub-national governance structures in Central and Eastern Europe. The reform of sub-national governance during the 1990s will be considered. Different case studies will be delivered.
The importance of historical preconditions will be examined. The question how the historical legacies have shaped institutional choices in the post-communist era will be discussed.

6. Regionalization as a Part of EU Accession Strategy
Objective: Analyze the impact of the EU Enlargement on regional administrations in CEE.
EU Enlargement influence on the shaping of the regional level will be examined. The motives, process and outcomes of regional administrative reform in CEE will be explored. The development of regional self-government and the enhancement of administrative capacity as an impetus to the regionalization in CEE will be discussed. The institutionalization of regions in the CEE accession countries as a combination of EU pressure, the perception of that pressure and domestic factors will be examined. The question if the regionalization in Central and Eastern Europe was the diffusion of a western European model will be discussed.

7. EU Regional Policy in CEE Countries
Objective: Provide a comprehensive overview analysis about the impact of the EU on the regional policy in CEE.
The importance of regional policy in an enlarged European Union will be examined.  The influence of the EU practice on regional policy in CEE countries will be discussed. The role of the pre-accession financial aid and the management of EU Structural Funds will be considered.
The evolution of the European Commission’s approach to regional policy will be explored. The interaction between the Commission and the accession countries will be examined. A systematic analysis of the EU main monitoring and enforcement mechanisms during the accession and post-enlargement period will be given.

8. Comparing Poland and Hungary
Objective: Examine and compare the EU’s impact on the regional institution building process in two countries.
A comparative case study of regional policy and regionalization by the example of Poland and Hungary will be provided. Legal provisions, standard-setting and monitoring in the field of regional level of public administration in relation to both countries will be examined. Two different trend of regionalization in Central and Eastern Europe: administrative-statistical regionalization in Hungary and democratized regionalization in Poland will be analyzed. The interplay between endogenous pressures and a need to adjust to EU requirements will be explored. The question if the regionalization was a response to EU pressure will be discussed. The state of the regional democracy and the regional development in the post-enlargement period will be addressed.


9. Regions in EU Neighborhood Policy
Objective: Familiarize with both bilateral and multilateral tracks of the Eastern Partnership   
A general framework of the interactions in subnational related issues will be presented. The inclusion of the subnational authorities from the partner countries (Corleap) will be explored. New EU’s initiatives on the regional development will be examined. The involvement of the civil society forum of the Eastern Partnership will be discussed. The comparison with Mediterranean countries will be given.

10. “EU’s factor” and the subnational dimension in Ukraine
Objective: Analyze the potential impact of the “EU factor” on the subnational level in the context of the Ukraine’s European integration strategy Ukraine.   
The territorial-administrative system, the lack of consistent regional policy and the weakness of regional self-governance in Ukraine will be examined. Regionalism as a constant factor in Ukrainian political life will be considered. Accomplishments and challenges of decentralization in Ukraine will be addressed.
Particular emphasis will be placed on evaluating whether the “EU factor” serves as a significant complementary reason to encourage changes on the subnational level in Ukraine. The formation, role, and efficiency of different mechanisms of interaction and communication between Ukrainian regions and different actors from the EU will be examined. The potential EU impact on the subnational governance, economic development and citizen engagement from promoting participatory democracy and introduction of best European administrative practices to providing financial aid and technical assistance will be analyzed. The symbolic use of “EU factor” to justify the need to carry out the regional reform will be explored.

11. Ukraine-EU Cross-border Cooperation.
Objective: Examine key issues of cross-border cooperation between Ukrainian regions and their EU partners.
The cross-border cooperation as an important tool to facilitate the legal flow of people, goods and services, and boost the development of border regions as well as networks across the EU external border will be examined. The question if the cross-border cooperation could involve policy learning and transfer from the experiences of EU regions will be discussed. Practical examples of cross-border cooperation arrangements between Ukrainian and EU partners will be given. Different case studies will be delivered.  


Recommended Literature

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